Thought, Feeling, Perception, and Movement

Stand for Israel  |  May 8, 2023

Statue of David Ben-Gurion doing handstand taught to him by Moshe Feldenkrais, Tel Aviv, Israel.
(Photo: PikiWiki/Dr. Avishai Teicher)

Born to a Jewish family in what is now Ukraine, Moshe Feldenkrais made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) as a teenager in 1918 to what was then the new post-WWI British-mandate Palestine. Working as a cartographer, mapping the Holy Land, he also took up learning self-defense.

Before WWII, Feldenkrais studied in France, including under Marie Curie, earning his doctorate in physics. There, he also earned a black belt in judo, continuing his lifelong pursuit of fitness. But when the Nazis invaded France, Feldenkrais fled to England, where he served during the war for the victorious Allied effort.

In the 1950s, Feldenkrais at last returned to Israel, where he directed the IDF’s Department of Electronics, while developing his own health regimen, The Feldenkrais Method, which taught that “thought, feeling, perception and movement are closely interrelated and influence each other.”

And, as seen in the statue above, it was this week’s Israeli You Should Know, Moshe Feldenkrais, who served as David Ben-Gurion’s personal trainer, teaching him to do the handstand still remembered by this statue posing on the beach in Tel Aviv.

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.